Let me be up front with you about something. I stole the idea for this post from a series of posts that Jessie Clemence did on her blog. Her interviews with her family (husband, daughter, son) made me smile and opened a window to her life that I hadn’t seen before (I knew Jessie and her husband when I was in college, but our paths split before they had kids).
I thought, “What a great idea! How hard could it be to interview your spouse?” So, I made a list of questions and had my wife answer them. Here’s the result:
How long have we been together?
Not nearly long enough. That being said, we had our first date 8 years, 2 months, and 16 days ago. We have been married for 6 years, 8 months and 16 days, but as I said, not nearly long enough.
What are you reading now?
I am just about to finish Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, which has kept my attention from the beginning of the winter school semester. I have read the book about three pages at a time for almost five months, but even though it has stretched over a long time, it still kept me coming back for more whenever I had time to spare.
What is your favorite book?
This is a hard question because in every genre I have a favorite book. That being said, the book I have enjoyed for the longest amount of time is A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.
What are your thoughts on your husband being a writer?
Honestly it depends on the day. For most days, I am excited and supportive of your desire to do something you enjoy and I try to express that through my words and actions. There are also occasional days were I become self focused and wonder why you must choose a hobby that is not only time-consuming but also solitary. On those days, I must remember your writing is not about me, but about you doing something that makes you happy.
You work full-time, raise a 1.5 year old, and are 7 months pregnant. You also just completed a master’s course in Accounting. Are you crazy?
No, let’s just say I have an incredible partner that makes all that possible. I couldn’t do it without you babe.
What is the first thought that goes through your head when I say that I’m going off to write for a while?
Once again, this honestly depends on whether I have my attitude and focus where it belongs. Given that I feel most loved by spending quality time together, leaving me to write isn’t the best way to say I love you. So, whether I need an attitude adjustment or it is where it needs to be already, I need to remember that my joyfully letting you go is a good way to say I love you.
What is something that you want strangers to know about me?
Oh, the things I could share…
Do you have any advice for the spouses of writers?
Whether other spouses deal with this or not, maybe it’s just me, but I have to constantly remember it’s not about me, it’s about you. That applies to all areas, at least in my opinion.
I love my wife.
I don’t know if you’ve read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, but it spells out five ways that people feel most loved. There’s quality time, words of encouragement, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. DeAnne and I read this book in our first year of marriage and it has really helped me understand how to make her feel loved. That said, her love language is quality time and mine is physical touch. When we are snuggling on the couch, both of our love tanks get filled.
But then I took up writing. Like she said in her answers, I write best when I can be focused entirely on my writing, so it is essentially a solitary thing. I try to choose times to write when it won’t affect our time together, times when she is either out of the house (her commute is about an hour longer than mine) or sleeping (I’m a night owl anyway), but there are still times when I get together with my writers’ group when I could be spending time with her.
That isn’t a good way to help my wife feel loved. Sometimes, this makes me feel like bad husband, like I am not giving her what she needs, like I am choosing my own desires over hers. And no matter how many times she insists that I go off and write, I feel that I am messing things up.
This past weekend, through the interview and other conversations that we had, she helped me understand that my writing time wasn’t really the issue. The real issue is that when I am spending time with her, it isn’t always quality time because my mind is still living in writing-land. We may be sitting on the couch together or playing with our daughter, but I’m not fully there because I’m thinking of the next scene in my novel or the blog post that I’m going to write.
Our time together isn’t quality when I’m letting other things come before her and marriage.
Now, I’m not going to quit writing. I think, for the most part, I’ve tried to limit the time that I spend writing when my wife is available. But I am going to try turning off the writing part of my brain when I’m with my wife. For me, my marriage comes first. I love you DeAnne Lynne Mosey!